The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) seeks a seasoned leader with a passion for justice to serve as Interim Director of The Guardianship Project. The term for this position will be four-to-six months.
The Vera Institute of Justice is a justice reform change agent. Vera produces ideas, analysis, and research that inspire change in the systems people rely upon for safety and justice, and works in close partnership with government and civic leaders to implement it. Vera is a truly unique institution in the justice reform field in that it promotes fairness across a variety of substantive areas – bail reform, adult and youth confinement, access to justice for immigrants, services of victims of violence – and because it does so by working closely with national, state, and local leaders as a trusted partner. Vera is currently pursuing core priorities of ending the misuse of jails, transforming conditions of confinement, and ensuring that justice systems more effectively serve America’s increasingly diverse communities.
The Guardianship Project is an innovative program that provides guardianship services for older adults and people with disabilities in New York City who have been determined by a judge to be unable to care for themselves and have no friend or family to assist them. Project staff coordinate or provide an array of services—including litigation, health care, home care, and money management—and help clients to remain independent and engaged in their communities. Launched in 2005, The Guardianship Project has served hundreds of New York City’s most vulnerable people and has become a leading voice in a national, interdisciplinary effort to re-envision and strengthen guardianship policy.
In 2013, The Guardianship Project was selected to help design and launch, in partnership with the New York State Office of Court Administration, a statewide court-stakeholder group to assess needs, establish priority action areas in guardianship, and serve as a model for guardianship improvement nationwide. In 2016, it was given a grant by the New York Community Trust to conduct a state wide research project on guardianships in New York.
Today, with both a steadily increasing caseload and relatively stable funding streams, The Guardianship Project is embarking on a new phase in its development, and seeks an accomplished, high-energy individual to lead the project in an interim capacity while the current Director is on leave. The Interim Director will lead a staff of 23 people, including lawyers, social workers, and property and finance professionals as they manage a demanding caseload of clients with complex, often urgent needs, and unique challenges. Additional critical priorities for the Interim Director are to work closely with Vera’s leadership team to explore opportunities for, and create a strategic plan to guide the project’s path to independence from Vera, and to further develop the project’s presence in the policy sphere. The Interim Director will report to Vera’s Executive Vice President and Special Counsel.